GONZALES, LA (WAFB) - Ascension Parish School Superintendent Patrice Pujol will retire from the school system in March.
A school system spokeswoman said Pujol has been named President of the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET). Pujol began her term as superintendent in 2010 when she became the first female to serve in that position in parish history.
"As hard as it is for me to think about leaving Ascension Public Schools after 39 years, this is an opportunity that I just cannot pass up," Pujol said in a written release. "At this stage of my career to be able to take the passion and the great experiences that I have had in Ascension and propel that to a national arena in order to impact kids across the country, is something personally and professionally energizing for me."
Pujol reportedly made the announcement at a meeting Wednesday morning with school principals and district directors.
"This opportunity comes not really because of me. It comes because of your (principals and directors) leadership and what we have created together. Each and every one of you have been a part of creating, implementing and pushing the vision of every child successful in an ever-changing world. If this were just my vision, I might be worried about walking away from our work, but it's not my vision, it's your vision," Pujol added.
According to her online bio, Pujol, a native of Ascension Parish, has worked for Ascension Parish School System for nearly 40 years, having been an English teacher, assistant principal, principal, director, and assistant superintendent.
More on Pujol from her online bio:
She started her career in Ascension Parish as an English teacher with East Ascension Junior High School in 1977. Pujol has a Bachelor of Science degree in French Education, a Master of Education degree in Educational Supervision, and a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership. Under Pujol's leadership as the assistant superintendent, the school system earned district accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Ascension was the first district in the region to attain this district academic honor. Pujol is also a recognized leader in school improvement planning. She served as the Director of School Improvement in Ascension from 2003 through 2006. She has developed and implemented the teacher coach program to provide ongoing professional development and support for teachers and many other innovative teaching improvement strategies. She has developed and implemented a plan for the Louisiana Comprehensive Curriculum and coordinated curriculum development and alignment activities for all core subjects in all grade levels.